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SPORTS NEWS THE PAST WEEKS
(Mini Reads followed by Full Reports below)

AGRI CHIEF PIÑOL IN L.A. DEFENDS PACQUIAO's JUGGLING OF BOXING, SENATE WORK
[RELATED: Vargas confident of one punch knockout: Manny dismisses threat, 'Easier said than done']


NOVEMBER 1 -Manny Pacquiao shares a light moment with Agriculture Secretary Manny Pinol at the Wild Card Gym in Hollywood, Los Angeles on Monday (Tuesday in Manila). At left is assistant trainer Buboy Fernandez. | Philstar.com/Dino Maragay
Sen. Manny Pacquiao found an ally on his double gig as a lawmaker and boxer in Agriculture Secretary Manny Piñol, who expressed confidence that the Filipino icon can perform well as both. Piñol, who flew in to Los Angeles the other day and dropped by the Wild Card Gym to see Pacquiao train, said having him as a “Fighting Senator” is actually a positive thing for the country. “I don't think we should not judge his accomplishments and performance as a senator based on his involvement in boxing. We have to look at it from a different perspective,” he told Philstar.com/The STAR.  READ MORE...RELATED,  Vargas confident of one punch knockout: Manny dismisses threat, 'Easier said than done'...

ALSO: PNP Cief 'Bato' visits Pacquiao, predicts KO in 6th round
[RELATED: Pacquiao - Being a fighter, senator 'not easy']


NOVEMBER 4 -Bato has Pacquiao's back in Las Vegas
LAS VEGAS - Philippine National Police (PNP) Director General Ronald “Bato” Dela Rosa visited on Friday (PH time) Manny “Pacman” Pacquiao during the latter's training two days before the Senator’s fight against Jessie Vargas. Dela Rosa went to the US with his son, Rock, to watch Pacquaio’s fight live on November 5 (US time) at Thomas & Mack Center in Las Vegas, Nevada. “Nandito ako kasi gustong-gusto ko talaga manalo si Manny. I’m a big fan.” Dela Rosa said. Dela Rosa also predicted the fight might end at the sixth round with a knock out from the Filipino pride. “Knock out ‘yan kasi hindi tumatakbo ‘yung kalaban.”
The police chief earlier predicted a Game 6 championship victory for the Barangay Ginebra Gin Kings, which eventually happened. READ MORE...RELAED, Pacquiao: Being a fighter, senator 'not easy'...

ALSO:
Not-so-packed ‘Pacquiao bus’ hits road to Vegas
[RELATED: Jinkee wants early stoppage]


NOVEMBER 1 -The Pacquiao bus | Photo courtesy of Wendell Rupert Alinea  LAS VEGAS – What used to be a jam-packed, fun-filled passenger bus carrying part of Manny Pacquiao’s huge entourage to his fights to the world’s gambling capital left Los Angeles Monday (Tuesday in Manila) surprisingly under half its capacity. This time, the 54-capacity bus bearing Pacquiao’s image – along with details of his upcoming fight with Jessie Vargas – hit the road for the five-hour trip to Las Vegas with just a little over 20 passengers. “First time ito ah (this marks the first time [that the bus isn’t full]),” said one passenger, a member of Pacquiao’s senatorial staff. In Pacquiao's past fights, fans used to scramble for seats in this free trip from Pacquiao’s training base in Los Angeles to Sin City, where most of the bouts are held. READ MORE... RELATED,
Jinkee wants early stoppage...

ALSO: Tale of the Tape - Pacquiao vs Vargas
[RELATED: Rocks inside Pacquiao’s gloves?  “It’s like he has rocks inside his gloves because he hurts my hands when he hits them,” said Roach.]


NOVEMBER 1 -Champ expects, braces vs Pacman at his best
LOS ANGELES – The camp of WBO welterweight champion Jessie Vargas is bracing for the best version of Manny Pacquiao to show up at the Thomas & Mack Center in Las Vegas on Saturday (Sunday in Manila). Pacquiao juggling his Senate duties and training in Manila the past few weeks may or may not have an effect on his overall readiness and condition for the fight. READ MORE...RELATED, Rocks inside Pacquiao’s gloves?: Roach - Pacquiao at his strongest right now....

ALSO WATCH: Pacquiao, Vargas make grand arrival ahead of title fight
[RELATED: US gambling site pegs Pacquiao as overwhelming favorite]


Boxer Manny Pacquiao is interviewed during his "Grand Arrival" to the Wynn hotel-casino on Tuesday, Nov. 1, 2016, in Las Vegas. The Wynn Las Vegas rolled out the red carpet Tuesday night (Wednesday morning, Manila time) for the grand arrival of Manny Pacquiao and reigning WBO welterweight champion Jessie Vargas. Fans flocked to the hotel just to catch a glimpse of the boxers who are due to slug it out this weekend.
Top Rank Inc. CEO Bob Arum told ABS-CBN North America News Bureau’s Bev Llorente that tickets for the card are running out fast. READ MORE, WATCH VIDEO...RELATED,
US gambling site pegs Pacquiao as overwhelming favorite...

ALSO: Magdaleno out to 'rip Donaire's head off'
[RELATED: Arum - Vargas has got what it takes to knock out Pacquiao]


NOVEMBER 4 -Nonito Donaire Jr. and Jessie Magdaleno | Top Rank photo
LAS VEGAS – A confident Jessie Magdaleno on Thursday (Friday in Manila) took the podium here and boldly declared that he is going after Nonito Donaire’s head when they collide this weekend. “I hope he (Donaire) comes. I hope he comes with his A-Game, because we're gonna rip his head off,” the undefeated Magdaleno told the media in a press conference Thursday (Friday in Manila) at Wynn Las Vegas for the undercard fights in the Manny Pacquiao-Jessie Vargas showdown. His hair dyed blonde, the 24-year-old prospect is gunning for Donaire’s WBO super bantamweight title in an undercard fight that has the potential to steal the show. READ MORE...RELATED, Arum - Vargas has got what it takes to knock out Pacquiao...


READ FULL MEDIA REPORTS HERE:

Agri chief Piñol defends Pacquiao’s juggling of boxing, Senate work


Manny Pacquiao shares a light moment with Agriculture Secretary Manny Pinol at the Wild Card Gym in Hollywood, Los Angeles on Monday (Tuesday in Manila). At left is assistant trainer Buboy Fernandez. | Philstar.com/Dino Maragay

LAS VEGAS, NOVEMBER 7, 2016 (PHILSTAR) By Dino Maragay November 1, 2016 - Sen. Manny Pacquiao found an ally on his double gig as a lawmaker and boxer in Agriculture Secretary Manny Piñol, who expressed confidence that the Filipino icon can perform well as both.

Piñol, who flew in to Los Angeles the other day and dropped by the Wild Card Gym to see Pacquiao train, said having him as a “Fighting Senator” is actually a positive thing for the country.

“I don't think we should not judge his accomplishments and performance as a senator based on his involvement in boxing. We have to look at it from a different perspective,” he told Philstar.com/The STAR.

READ MORE...

“This is the first time in the history of Philippine politics na merong senador na outstanding sportsman pa din at this time. And whether we like of it or not, Manny has given the Philippines a positive image.”

The former boxing promoter and now a key Cabinet official is stateside for a trade and agricultural fair in Southern California on November 2 and some investment-related meetings.

“He said he will be ringside when Pacquiao challenges WBO welterweight champion Jessie Vargas at the Thomas & Mack Center here on Saturday (Sunday in Manila).

Piñol intently watched Pacquiao spar six rounds with Ray Beltran then still work the mitts, and heavy and double-ended bags afterwards with ease.

He said age hasn’t slowed down the 37-year-old Pacquiao.

“Maganda naman yung galaw niya. Relaxed, walang pressure. Ang importante sa laban yung walang pressure,” said Piñol

“He should be still good for three or more fights. Kaya pa eh.”

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RELATED FROM PHILSTAR

Vargas confident of one punch knockout: Manny dismisses foe’s threat of landing big one By Abac Cordero (The Philippine Star) | Updated November 4, 2016 - 12:00am 0 1 googleplus0 0


Eight-division champion Manny Pacquiao and taller, younger WBO welterweight champion Jessie Vargas pose during Wednesday’s final press conference at the Wynn Hotel, with both fighters vowing a knockout in their showdown Saturday (Sunday morning in Manila) at the Thomas and Mack Center in Las Vegas. ABAC CORDERO

 LAS VEGAS – Jessie Vargas thinks he can land the one punch that can knock Manny Pacquiao out on Saturday in their WBO welterweight title clash here in Sin City.

During Wednesday’s final press conference at Wynn Hotel, the 27-year-old Vargas sounded confident that he has the power and the skills to score a KO.

But the Filipino boxing icon dismissed the threat from the Mexican-American champion, saying he has overcome taller, tougher opponents.

Some things, according to Pacquiao, are easier said than done, including a one-punch knockout.

“Some fighters think more than what they can do,” said Pacquiao.

But Vargas maintained he could do it with one punch.

Sportshub ( Article MRec ), pagematch: 1, sectionmatch: 1

“If I connect with a good punch, of course, he will go down. I have the power,” said Vargas, the champion and at the same time the underdog.

Vargas met some members of the press in a small function room before the main press conference took place in a massive ballroom.

He took the podium, in stylish GQ attire, and said there’s nothing in this fight that makes him feel like a new kid on the block.

“To be honest there is really nothing much. It’s just another fight, just another opponent,” said the boxer who had fought in the undercard of Pacquiao and Floyd Mayweather fights.

“Those (fights) prepared me for this situation. It’s nothing new to me. I knew what I was in for,” he said.

Vargas is 27 years old, with a ring record of 27-1 with 10 knockouts.

In height and in reach, he enjoys a four-inch advantage.


Jessie Vargas. ABAC CORDERO

But compared to Pacquiao, well, he’s the new kid on the block.

The 37-year-old Filipino superstar has a ring record of 58-6-2 with 38 knockouts, and the distinction of being the only boxer in history to win world titles in eight different weight classes.

Most boxers who came to fight Pacquiao saying, “It’s just another fight” ended up saying, “He was faster and stronger than I thought.”

“I’m a younger (Juan Manuel) Marquez and I’m here to show it,” added Vargas, referring to the Mexican warrior, who in 2012 knocked Pacquiao out – with one punch.

His trainer, Dewey Cooper, is of course on the same page.

“He has the power. He has the knowledge,” Cooper said of Vargas.

Half an hour after Team Vargas left the room, Pacquiao arrived and walked in like a senator, in a black suit, flanked by Filipino bodyguards.

Pacquiao was asked to comment on Vargas’ height advantage.

“I’ve fought taller guys. It’s not new to me,” said Pacquiao, trying to recall his fights with bigger opponents like Oscar dela Hoya and Antonio Margarito.

Being the taller fighter, he said, does not easily translate to having the advantage.

“It also has a disadvantage. If you know how to use it then it will be a factor. Margarito is taller than me but he did not use his advantage. So, it looked like I’m taller than him,” Pacquiao said.

Pacquiao was told that Vargas has described himself as a taller and faster Juan Manuel Marquez.

“Like I said, if he knows how to use his advantage, it can be a good fight. And that’s what we’re waiting for,” said Pacquiao, not the fighter who issues a forecast.

NOTES: The odds are stacked against Jessie Vargas, the reigning WBO champion. Manny Pacquiao, who’s 4-3 in his last seven fights, remains as the overwhelming favorite. Before the start of Wednesday’s final press conference at Wynn Hotel, the fight odds were passed around to those in attendance. Pacquiao is at -700, meaning you need to put $700 to win a hundred bucks. Vargas is at +500, meaning every $100 wager wins $500. There’s not much talk of a knockout, and the lines that the fight will go 12 full rounds are at -240, and that it won’t go the distance is at +200. Vargas winning on points is 7/1 and by KO or disqualification is at 12/2. Pacquiao winning by decision is at 5/9 and via stoppage at 2/1. The fight ending in a draw is pegged at 18/1. By the rounds, it’s a staggering 60/1 if Vargas scores a knockout in the opening round, and it’s just half at 30/1 if Pacquiao wins inside three minutes. Manny Pacquiao, the senator, told reporters here how difficult it is being a boxer and legislator at the same time. He spoke about the government’s war against drugs, and admitted that he’s been receiving threats through phone calls made to his office. He said his secretary gets the calls. The caller, he said, says “bad words.” But Pacquiao said it’s part of the job. “I have bodyguards. We make sure everything is fine.” Pacquiao has an advice to those aspiring to be a boxer and legislator. “I tell you this. Don’t do it,” he said.


ABS-CBN

Bato visits Pacquiao, predicts KO in 6th round ABS-CBN News Posted at Nov 04 2016 08:47 AM


NOVEMBER 4 -Bato has Pacquiao's back in Las Vegas

LAS VEGAS - Philippine National Police (PNP) Director General Ronald “Bato” Dela Rosa visited on Friday (PH time) Manny “Pacman” Pacquiao during the latter's training two days before the Senator’s fight against Jessie Vargas.

Dela Rosa went to the US with his son, Rock, to watch Pacquaio’s fight live on November 5 (US time) at Thomas & Mack Center in Las Vegas, Nevada.

“Nandito ako kasi gustong-gusto ko talaga manalo si Manny. I’m a big fan.” Dela Rosa said.

Dela Rosa also predicted the fight might end at the sixth round with a knock out from the Filipino pride. “Knock out ‘yan kasi hindi tumatakbo ‘yung kalaban.”

The police chief earlier predicted a Game 6 championship victory for the Barangay Ginebra Gin Kings, which eventually happened.

READ MORE...

He also accommodated photo requests of the members of the Filipino boxer’s camp while Pacquiao was jogging around the track and field oval.

According to Dela Rosa, it will be his third time to watch Pacquiao in the boxing ring.

This will be Pacquiao’s first boxing fight since winning the 2016 senatorial elections. He previously announced his retirement but decided to stage a comeback this November.

In an interview in ABS-CBN’s Umagang Kay Ganda, Pacquaio bared that he missed the feeling of preparing for a match.

Pacman also revealed that he is already ready for the fight billed as “The Legend/The Champ” where WBO Welterweight title belt is at stake.

“Handa na po tayo. Magdasal tayo sa Panginoon na maging maganda ang lahat at walang maging sagabal,” Pacquiao said.
The senator also said that there might be some fights left for him after facing the American boxer.

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RELATED FROM ABS CBN

Pacquiao: Being a fighter, senator 'not easy' Camille B. Naredo, ABS-CBN News Posted at Nov 03 2016 04:31 PM


Manny Pacquiao admits that "it's not easy" being a senator working in an office then training for a fight. Photo by Lucy Nicholson, Reuters

MANILA, Philippines – Manny Pacquiao has a chance to make history again on Saturday, as he becomes the first active senator to fight for a world title when he challenges Jessie Vargas at the Thomas & Mack Center.

Pacquiao, who has won world titles in eight different weight divisions, retired after beating Timothy Bradley in April, but later realized he couldn't walk away from the sport that made him a global superstar.

After winning a senate seat in the May 2016 national elections, Pacquiao soon announced that he would return to the ring to challenge the 27-year-old Vargas for the WBO welterweight title. He has had to juggle his responsibilities as a senator and a fighter, attending hearings in the morning before going to the gym in the late afternoon and sometimes at night.

READ: Pacquiao reps the Philippine Senate through mouthguard in Vargas fight



It wasn't until the senate went into recess that Pacquiao flew to the United States to conclude his training camp at the Wild Card Gym in Hollywood, California.

"This is a historical fight," Pacquiao said on Wednesday in Las Vegas. "This is my first fight being a senator."

Manny Pacquiao admits that "it's not easy" being a senator working in an office then training for a fight.

"You have to discipline yourself and manage your time, and that's what I did," said Pacquiao, who boasts never missing a Senate session even during the run-up to the Vargas fight.

"I'm glad that I fulfilled my duty while training in boxing."

"I tell you this," Pacquiao added, chuckling. "Don't do this."

"Being a fighter and a senator is not easy, if you don't have the discipline. Good thing that God is good. He is giving me the wisdom and the knowledge to perform my duties as a legislator, a public servant and a boxer also."

Pacquiao's chief trainer, Freddie Roach, has praised the boxer throughout their camp, noting the renewed aggression, power and precision of the Filipino star.

Pacquiao has made it clear that he is as prepared as he can be for Vargas.

"I'm so excited for this Saturday (Sunday, Manila time)," he said. "I'm sure that it's gonna be a good fight. I feel what (Vargas is) feeling and that's why I prepared for it. I had to prepare myself, because I know the hunger of my opponent. I'm ready for that."

In the Philippines, the fight can be seen live, commercial-free and in high definition on November 6, 9 a.m. on SKY Sports Pay-Per-View.

In the Middle East, the fight will be shown on November 6 at 4 a.m. in KSA and 5 a.m. in Dubai, live (with replays) via TFC.tv. It is also available via OSN, ELife and Mozaic TV powered by Ooredoo.

In the US, it will be shown on November 5 live, distributed by Top Rank PPV.


PHILSTAR

Not-so-packed ‘Pacquiao bus’ hits road to Vegas By Dino Maragay November 1, 2016 -


The Pacquiao bus | Photo courtesy of Wendell Rupert Alinea 

LAS VEGAS – What used to be a jam-packed, fun-filled passenger bus carrying part of Manny Pacquiao’s huge entourage to his fights to the world’s gambling capital left Los Angeles Monday (Tuesday in Manila) surprisingly under half its capacity.

This time, the 54-capacity bus bearing Pacquiao’s image – along with details of his upcoming fight with Jessie Vargas – hit the road for the five-hour trip to Las Vegas with just a little over 20 passengers.

“First time ito ah (this marks the first time [that the bus isn’t full]),” said one passenger, a member of Pacquiao’s senatorial staff.

In Pacquiao's past fights, fans used to scramble for seats in this free trip from Pacquiao’s training base in Los Angeles to Sin City, where most of the bouts are held.

READ MORE...

But that was no longer the case on Monday, with lots of empty seats and with those aboard taking the liberty to occupy two seats for themselves and their stuff, for added comfort.

One couldn’t help but speculate whether interest in this particular fight – or even in Pacquiao himself – has dwindled or if Pacquiao’s sphere of well-wishers is shrinking.

The real reason, however, is cost-cutting.

“Many of those who come to see Manny’s fights in Las Vegas do so as long as Pacquiao shoulders everything – their plane ticket to the US, fight ticket and hotel accommodation. This is no longer the case for this fight,” said a source close to Pacquiao who asked not to be named.

“Hindi na sinagot ni Manny ang hotel nila (Manny no longer shouldered their accommodation),” the source added.

Pacquiao is planning to leave for Manila the day after the fight, not two days after like he used to, so he can catch up with his Senate work. He will do so by plane from Las Vegas to Los Angeles, and then to the Philippines, meaning there will no longer be a road trip for him.

He will be taking some members of his entourage with him straight back to the Philippines.

In effect, this might mean more empty seats in the Pacquiao Bus on the way back home.

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RELATED  FROM PHILSTAR

Jinkee wants early stoppage By Dino Maragay (The Philippine Star) | Updated November 4, 2016 - 12:00am 0 0 googleplus0 0


Jinkee Pacquiao

LAS VEGAS – Jinkee Pacquiao is joining the clamor for his husband to finally end his seven-year knockout drought on Saturday here (Sunday in Manila) against Jessie Vargas.

And she prefers that Manny do it as soon as possible.

“Mas okay yun na maaga matapos yung fight (It is better if the fight ends early),” Pacquiao’s better half told Filipino reporters at the sidelines of the final press conference at the Margaux Ballroom of Wynn Las Vegas.

She did not specify what round she prefers.

“Basta maaga lang (as long as it is early),” added the lady in pink.

Pacquiao hasn’t scored a knockout since 2009 against Miguel Cotto, and his tip-top condition for his upcoming fight has placed him in a position to end the slump.

But his wife believes the task won’t be easy.

“Champion din siya so talagang magaling,” said Jinkee, referring to Vargas, who will put his WBO welterweight title on the line against Pacquiao.

Asked if she is concerned over Vargas’ physical advantages over her husband, Jinkee responded to the negative.

“Sanay na lumaban si Manny sa mga ganyan, matangkad. Hindi concern yan (Manny is used to fighting taller guys. It’s not a concern,” Jinkee added.

“Mas lalo nga siyang lumakas (He has even become stronger).”


PHILSTAR

Tale of the Tape: Pacquiao vs Vargas (philstar.com) | Updated November 1, 2016 - 1:26pm 0 0 googleplus0

Champ expects, braces vs Pacman at his best By Dino Maragay (The Philippine Star) | Updated November 1, 2016 - 12:00am 0 0 googleplus0 0

LOS ANGELES – The camp of WBO welterweight champion Jessie Vargas is bracing for the best version of Manny Pacquiao to show up at the Thomas & Mack Center in Las Vegas on Saturday (Sunday in Manila).

Pacquiao juggling his Senate duties and training in Manila the past few weeks may or may not have an effect on his overall readiness and condition for the fight.

READ MORE...

But Dewey Cooper, Vargas’ trainer, is hearing none of it.

“The biggest illusion the devil ever pulled on the world was to make us think he doesn’t exist. If you are thinking Pacquiao is only half prepared in this fight or not mentally ready for this fight you are not the expert writer,” Cooper said the other day from their training camp in Las Vegas, where the 27-year-old Vargas is based.

The last thing Cooper wants is for his ward’s impending victory – he vowed that Vargas is going be “better the man” on Saturday – to be tainted by claims that he defeated a distracted and ill-prepared Pacquiao.

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RELATED FROM PHILSTAR

Rocks inside Pacquiao’s gloves? By Abac Cordero (The Philippine Star) | Updated November 4, 2016 - 12:00am 0 0 googleplus0 0


“It’s like he has rocks inside his gloves because he hurts my hands when he hits them,” said Roach.

LAS VEGAS – Freddie Roach is just glad Manny Pacquiao is done with his training, meaning no more mitts session with the boxer who hits like a heavyweight.

The past few days, the 56-year-old Roach has complained of pain on his left shoulder. He said he had to take anti-inflammatories before he goes to sleep.

Pacquiao held his last gym session Tuesday heading to his comeback fight against WBO welterweight champion Jessie Vargas on Saturday at the Thomas & Mack Center here.

They worked on the mitts, no more than five rounds, but this time it was lighter than usual.

“It was light-paced. We talked a lot. We talked about strategy. He really looks very good now,” said Roach, adding that he’d never seen Pacquiao look this good at welterweight.

Pacquiao, he said, is at his strongest form now.

“It’s like he has rocks inside his gloves because he hurts my hands when he hits them,” said Roach.

The hard work is done and over with, and on Thursday, Pacquiao will run in the morning, inside the UNLV campus, and skip the gym in the afternoon.

In the past, Thursdays are the last days at the gym.

“He’s going to do a light run in the morning and that’s it. We’re not coming back here. He chose to run,” said the celebrated boxing trainer.

“On the way to the gym he told me he just wants to run in the morning and pass up on the gym because it’s so close to the fight. We have two days rest before getting to the fight,” he added.

Roach is also hoping that Vargas lives up to his promise of being strong and aggressive inside the ring.

Because if Vargas does, then it will favor Pacquiao.

“I never expected a short fight. I just say that if this guy keeps talking about how aggressive and how he’s going to fight us and so forth then that will be the wrong choice,” he said.

“But we hope that happens. If a knockout comes it will be a bonus. That will be great,” he added.


ABS-CBN

WATCH: Pacquiao, Vargas make grand arrival ahead of title fight ABS-CBN News
Posted at Nov 02 2016 11:19 PM


Boxer Manny Pacquiao is interviewed during his "Grand Arrival" to the Wynn hotel-casino on Tuesday, Nov. 1, 2016, in Las Vegas.

The Wynn Las Vegas rolled out the red carpet Tuesday night (Wednesday morning, Manila time) for the grand arrival of Manny Pacquiao and reigning WBO welterweight champion Jessie Vargas.

Fans flocked to the hotel just to catch a glimpse of the boxers who are due to slug it out this weekend.

Top Rank Inc. CEO Bob Arum told ABS-CBN North America News Bureau’s Bev Llorente that tickets for the card are running out fast.

READ MORE...


WBO junior welterweight champ Jessie Vargas shakes hands with promoter Bob Arum. Photo by Wendell

A super bantamweight title fight featuring Nonito Donaire and Jessie Magdaleno is also part of the main event.

“About 3,000 tickets are left, which is going fast it will be a sellout on fight time,” said Arum.

In the Philippines, the fight can be seen live, commercial-free and in high definition on November 6, 9 a.m. on SKY Sports Pay-Per-View.

In the Middle East, the fight will be shown on November 6 at 4 a.m. in KSA and 5 a.m. in Dubai, live (with replays) via TFC.tv. It is also available via OSN, ELife and Mozaic TV powered by Ooredoo.

In the US, it will be shown on November 5 live, distributed by Top Rank PPV.

 
https://youtu.be/5EEO0b7AOok

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RELATED FROM ABS-CBN

US gambling site pegs Pacquiao as overwhelming favorite Camille B. Naredo, ABS-CBN News
Posted at Nov 03 2016 08:28 PM | Updated as of Nov 03 2016 09:14 PM


Manny Pacquiao of the Philippines (R) works out with his trainer Freddie Roach in advance of his WBO welterweight bout against Jessie Vargas, in Los Angeles, California, U.S., October 26, 2016. Photo by Lucy Nicholson, Reuters

MANILA, Philippines — Manny Pacquiao was effusive in praise of Jessie Vargas, saying "it's an honor" to take on the reigning world welterweight champion.

A look at the betting odds ahead of the fight on Saturday (Sunday, Manila time) makes one wonder whether Vargas should be the more unassuming fighter.

US gambling site Bovada has pegged Pacquiao as an overwhelming favorite at -750, while Vargas is a +475 underdog. (A $750 bet on Pacquiao returns $100, while a $100 wager on Vargas returns $475.)

When news about the fight leaked in August, Pacquiao was at -1000 and Vargas +550.

While bettors are bullish on a Pacquiao win, the fighter remained modest about his chances, a typical demeanor he exhibits in the run-up to his fights.

"It's good for me," he said during the prefight press conference on Wednesday in Las Vegas, referring to his role as challenger to Vargas' throne. "It's more of a challenge. It gives me more inspiration to focus more and work hard."

Vargas' camp has been less timid, to say the least.

"I've had a great training camp," Vargas said at the same press conference. "This has been the best to date. I'm very happy with my team, and they are bringing out the best in me. I've said that before and I said that in the last fight."

"We're planning on outdoing that performance."

READ: Vargas very confident heading into Pacquiao bout

Vargas' trainer, the outspoken Dewey Cooper, doubled down on his fighter's statement, saying they had an "incredible" camp.

"Jessie has surpassed anything we did in our previous camp, when we won the WBO welterweight title," he added.

Cooper made it clear that Vargas is not just a mere "titleholder." "We are world champions," he declared. "Titleholder does not adequately describe what Jessie is."

"We are the defending champion. We are here to defend our title, and we look forward to it on Saturday night," he said.

Pacquiao has not entered a fight as a challenger since his rematch with Timothy Bradley for the WBO title in April 2014.

Against Floyd Mayweather in May 2015, Pacquiao was the defending WBO welterweight champion, but he also challenged the American for the WBA, WBC, and The Ring belts.

"It's an honor for me to challenge a champion," Pacquiao said. "(Vargas) is a champion. You cannot say titleholder. His trainer is right – he's a champion, he's defending his belt."

"I'm the challenger," he added. "May the best man win on Saturday."

In the Philippines, the fight will be seen live, commercial-free and in high definition on November 6, 9 a.m. on SKY Sports Pay-Per-View.

In the Middle East, the fight will be shown on November 6 at 4 a.m. in KSA and 5 a.m. in Dubai, live (with replays) via TFC.tv. It is also available via OSN, ELife and Mozaic TV powered by Ooredoo.

In the US, it will be shown on November 5 live, distributed by Top Rank PPV.


PHILSTAR

Magdaleno out to 'rip Donaire's head off' By Dino Maragay (philstar.com) | Updated November 4, 2016 - 7:07pm 0 0 googleplus0 0


Nonito Donaire Jr. and Jessie Magdaleno | Top Rank photo

LAS VEGAS – A confident Jessie Magdaleno on Thursday (Friday in Manila) took the podium here and boldly declared that he is going after Nonito Donaire’s head when they collide this weekend.

“I hope he (Donaire) comes. I hope he comes with his A-Game, because we're gonna rip his head off,” the undefeated Magdaleno told the media in a press conference Thursday (Friday in Manila) at Wynn Las Vegas for the undercard fights in the Manny Pacquiao-Jessie Vargas showdown.

His hair dyed blonde, the 24-year-old prospect is gunning for Donaire’s WBO super bantamweight title in an undercard fight that has the potential to steal the show.

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As he goes against a seasoned veteran like Donaire – a former four-division world champion –Magdaleno brushed off criticisms about his inexperience and lack of significant opponents.

“Everybody's questioning my experience, who I fought and whatever. It doesn't matter who I fought. I worked my butt off for this fight, I'm more than ready,” he added.

The Las Vegas-based fighter promised fireworks in their showdown, seeing his hands raised in the end.

“It's gonna be an all-out action. We're gonna brawl out. Either for 12 rounds, or whatever round he wants to go down,” Magdaleno added.

But when later pressed for a prediction, Magdaleno said he doesn’t expect the fight to go to the scorecards.

“I don't see it going past the eighth (round),” he said.

“We're gonna prove a statement that the young lion, which he (Donaire) calls me, is ready to take on the dragon which he calls for himself,” said Magdaleno.

For his part, an equally confident Donaire chose to deliver a war cry in lieu of a traditional speech when it was his turn at the dais, yelling “vic-to-ry!” three times.

The champion later told Filipino reporters that Magdaleno’s strong words mean nothing.

“My only focus is only victory. I don't care what he (Magdaleno) does. I don't worry about what he's capable off,” Donaire said.

“He's a kid.”

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RELATED FROM PHILSTAR

Arum: Vargas can knock out Pacquiao (The Philippine Star) | Updated November 4, 2016 - 12:00am 0 0 googleplus0 0

MANILA, Philippines - While most see the upcoming Manny Pacquiao-Jessie Vargas fight as an easy bout for the power-hitting Filipino fighter, Top Rank boss Bob Arum feels that the latter has got what it takes to knock out the legendary eight-division champion.

“Vargas has become a terrific fighter,” said Arum in a recent interview with Stephen Smith and Max Kellerman on First Take on ESPN. “Trainer Dewey Cooper has turned him from being a defensive fighter into an offensive force.”

He also cited Vargas’ emphatic victory over Sadam Ali early this year when the former knocked down the latter twice and put him out in the ninth round to win a vacant welterweight world title.

“He knocked out Sadam Ali who is a terrific fighter, who was a member of the US Olympic team, and he (Vargas) knocked out Ali cold. Let me tell you something: the way Manny fights and the way Vargas fights, if Vargas hits him – which he is capable of doing – he could knock Pacquiao out. Remember, Vargas had (Tim) Bradley out in the last round. The referee stopped the fight by mistake because he thought the 10th second was the bell.”

The fight – billed as The Legend vs The Champ – will be held Nov. 5 at the Thomas & Mack Center in Las Vegas (Sunday morning in Manila). It will be shown on Nov. 6 at 4 a.m. in KSA and 5 a.m. in Dubai, live (with replays) via TFC.tv. The Legend vs The Champ is also available via OSN, ELife and Mozaic TV Powered by Ooredoo.

The fight also serves as Pacquiao’s first since announcing his retirement early this year with the Filipino champ out to improve his 58-6-2 record, including 38 KOs). On the other hand, Vargas, the reigning World Boxing Organization welterweight titlist, totes a 27-1 record, including 10 KOs.

NONITO

Also fighting in the card is Nonito “The Filipino Flash” Donaire (37-3, 24 KOs), who will defend his WBO super bantamweight title against the undefeated Jessie Magdaleno (23-0, 17 KOs).

Meanwhile, Arum also told ABS-CBN in another interview: “I think you will see, one way or another, a knockout in this fight. And it’s a lot because Jessie will be fearless, and some people say reckless, and he will be going after Manny, to try and knock Manny out.”

Vargas, who is 10 years younger than Pacquiao, said in an interview with ABS-CBN that “It’s my time to shine. I’m going for a knockout. The minute that he (Pacquiao) gives me that opening, I’m taking it. The eighth round sounds very, very good to me.”

Magdaleno also vowed to frustrate Donaire.

“He (Donaire) is past his prime. He will be strong for about five rounds. Then he will fade and we will take over,” said Magdaleno in an ABS-CBN interview.

“I’m proud of that fight (Donaire vs Magdaleno),” Arum added. “I think it’s going to be a terrific fight. I think every one of these fights is going to be evenly matched, but I can see where people are saying that Donaire and Magdaleno will be a barn burner.” Arum also noted that while Donaire is an experienced warrior, Magdaleno is “training like a beast.”


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